Marriage Restored - Sharon's marriage after 5 years began to fall apart. She struggled to manage a stressful job, the home and a one year old child and her husband was spending more and more time at work. She felt like a single parent and was crumbling under the pressure. Her husband ended up having an affair at work and he left Sharon. Her world felt like it had fallen apart. She reached the end of herself and was totally broken. She couldn't eat, sleep and could barely speak. But in this place she found Jesus. Her Christian friend of 25 years came alongside Sharon and they cried out for God's help. The next morning, everything had changed. Sharon felt she had been physically picked up by Jesus and placed back on her feet. She had a hope that she had never had before. Even if her husband never came back, now with Jesus at her side, she knew it was going to be okay. The full story is an intricate tapestry of God's blessing and provision but the end result is a miraculously restored marriage, a husband that met Jesus for himself in the midst of the storm and a couple who gave up everything as a result of God's goodness to plant a church to share God's goodness and hope in Medway.
Last Minute Miracle - Sue was struggling in her marriage. Her husband was totally disconnected. They were living separate lives with only their 7 year old daughter in common. Sue felt she no longer loved her husband anymore. She had tried for years to make it work but to know avail. However, she had a friend that she played hockey with who began to tell her about Jesus and how he loves to restore marriages. Sue's Christian friend began to pray but Sue had made a decision to get divorced. But unbelievably, on the court steps, the very day of the divorce God penetrated her heart. She phoned her Christian friend in amazement saying that she didn't know how but she had fallen back in love with her husband again.
Nina's marriage - Nina worked with Andy. She was married with two gorgeous little girls. One day she came to work and was in a state having learned that her husband had been having multiple affairs. She was desperate and told Andy that she was going to see a fortune teller. Andy begged her to reconsider and told her that a Christian could tell her what God had planned for her future which would be safer and more accurate. 'In fact', said Andy, 'my wife could do that for you. Let's ring her now'. Now Sharon wasn't expecting this and would have liked some time to pray before hand but God turned up as Sharon spoke of the future God had for Nina and her girls. Sharon didn't know that Nina had put some measures in place. She needed to hear certain things about her past from Sharon that would prove to her that it was God. She heard what she needed to hear. On the way home from work that evening she swung by a bookshop to buy both her girls a bible and today she and her girls know and love Jesus.
Guy at the conference - At the Vineyard Leadership Conference there was a lunch for pastors in a different building across town. As they all walked as a group down the street a man with a collie dog asked what we were doing. We explained we were Christians going for lunch. It turned out that his dog was called Rico and I used to have a collie dog called Rico. As we talked about this coincidence, he began to share how his long-term girlfriend had finally had enough and kicked him out of the house. He was devastated and was on his way to get some suitcases and boxes so he could move out. We explained that we love an awesome God that cares about us and this same God cared so much for him too that he had orchestrated our meeting and talking. He allowed us to pray for him and he gave his life to Jesus there and then. We encouraged him to go to the Vineyard Church. The next day one of the group bumped into him again and he shared how happy he was and how his girlfriend had changed her mind and let him stay.
Lady at the checkouts - We had just moved to the area and I was queuing to pay for my shopping at Tesco. God pointed out a lady with red hair on a different check out. He told me to go over and tell her that He sees her pain. I very reluctantly went and joined her line and when I got to her I told her what God said. She began to cry and explained that her mum had died the month before and she was still hurting. We have become friends and she asks me to pray for her every time I visit her check out.
Promise of a child - After becoming Christians we wanted to have another child but I struggled to fall pregnant. When I did eventually fall pregnant I miscarried early on. I knew God wanted us to have another child so I kept waiting expectantly and kept buying pregnancy tests to check. In fact, on one occasion I fainted in work and when I went to the A&E they did a blood test to see if I was pregnant. I informed me that I was not. I was sure I was pregnant. Then one day, a few weeks later, I went for a run and God spoke really clearly to me. He said, 'You have the seed of life within you'. I ran home excitedly to tell my husband who tried to manage my expectations. He said, 'You're not pregnant. You just want to be'. Well, I knew what God had said so I went the next day and bought a pregnancy test. I was pregnant! We were delighted and when we had our son we asked God to name him. He said to call him Matthew which means gift from God.
Child in the pool - Being bi-vocational presents opportunities to advance God's Kingdom in different settings. I was working in the Police in London as we were called to a tragic incident where a child had drowned in a party in a back garden swimming pool. When I arrived there were ambulance crews working on the child but to no avail. I sat rather helplessly and prayed with a couple of local ministers who had been at the party. Then I decided to go and try to pray for the child (which is not an easy thing to do in a police uniform so I managed to get over to the ambulance crew and reached a hand through to touch the child's heel. I prayed under my breath for him to be resuscitated to life and within 30 seconds the ambulance crew went into a whirl of activity as a pulse had returned! The child was rushed to hospital where he was kept alive for two weeks but in a coma before they sadly had to turn the life support off. But in this time, his mother and the rest of his family got to come and see him alive and say their goodbyes (he had just been with his dad on the day).
Homeless guy - On another occasion policing in London we were called to a halfway house where one of the residents had hung himself in the back garden. We arrived first and cut him down to begin CPR. As we did this an ambulance crew arrived and set up their equipment. Once they had him connected to the machines it was clear that there was no pulse at all. I was with another officer and more officers were performing the chest compressions to help the ambulance crew. I said to the other officer that I was going to pray for him to come back to life. She looked at me, in slight disbelief as I went forward to ake over the chest compressions. Whilst I performed the chest compressions I began to rebuke death and speak life to him. After about one minute the ambulance machines started to beep and his pulse had returned. The ambulance crew now took over completely and he was rushed to hospital. He had been a drug addict and had come down from the North of England and whilst in hospital in a coma, his family were able to visit him and I am sure Jesus did too before the life support was turned off. The police officer I was with was astounded and the next day went and bought her kids bibles and within a few months had completed and Alpha course and given her life to Jesus.
Stories to come:
House buying -